Your daily commute can be bad for you.
Millions of American workers are spending about an hour commuting to and from work while 600,000 more are spending more than 90 minutes just to get to work each and every day. If you believe that battling the morning and evening rush on a regular basis is negatively affecting your health, then you are probably right. In fact, recent studies prove that commuting to work can ruin your life in more ways than one.
Negative Health Effects of Commuting to Work
It causes back and neck problems. According to a 2010 Gallup survey involving more than 173,000 working adults, one in three employees who spend more than 90 minutes commuting each day suffered from a back or neck problem in the past 12 months.
It can affect the quality of your sleep. People who spend more than 45 minutes on their way to work had lower quality of sleep as compared to those with shorter commutes. They are also more exhausted and may feel tired all the time.
It can make you gain weight. Studies show that longer commutes increase the likelihood of non-grocery purchases and lower intensity exercise which may lead to obesity.
It can increase the risk for depression. Commuting to work reduces a person’s happiness and overall satisfaction in life. Thus, having a house in the suburbs and commuting all the way to work can significantly increase a person’s risk for depression, according to a report published in the Journal of Economic Psychology. It can also increase a person’s risk of anxiety and social isolation.
It can elevate your blood sugar levels. Driving more than 10 miles each way to and from work every day can elevate a person’s blood sugar levels and increase the risk of pre-diabetes and diabetes.
It can elevate your blood pressure. According to the results of a research conducted at the University of Utah, commuting during rush hour in the midst of high-density traffic is extremely stressful and can temporarily elevate a person’s blood pressure. This situation can also cause blood pressure to rise over time. Since high blood pressure can increase a person’s risk for heart disease and stroke, this is definitely bad news.
It can compromise your cardiovascular health. A study involving more than 4,000 Texans provided conclusive data that people who spend more time commuting to and from work had lower cardiovascular fitness and are at a higher risk of developing heart problems in the future. In addition, long drives may also lead to higher cholesterol levels, another major risk factor for heart disease.
Your daily commute may be ruining your health but if you cannot do anything about it, you should take the necessary steps to counter these negative effects and increase your chances of living a healthier and happier life.